Big City Tales

Magnifico Madrid | March 21, 2018

With its ultra-modern infrastructure built up around well-preserved historical sites, there is no doubt that Magnifico Madrid is Spain’s most visited city. From the AZCA and CBTA business districts to the Gran Via and Royal Palace tourist areas, there is plenty to say “Ole!” about in, you guessed it, the bullfighting capital of the world.

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Business is Booming

As the third largest city in the European Union, Madrid is the headquarter location for many of Spain’s major companies such as Telefonica, IAG and Repsol. The city is also the home of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the Royal Spanish Academy.

AZCA

The AZCA financial district in northern Madrid is often referred to as ‘Madrid’s Manhattan’ because of the many skyscrapers it contains. The district’s tallest building is the Torre Picasso that was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect who created the original World Trade Center (WTC) towers in New York City.  The Torre Picasso and WTC towers share the same rectangular shape and sleek, minimalist exterior. AZCA’s other significant skyscrapers are the Torre Europa,  Torre Banco de Balboa Vizcaya (Torre BBVA), Torre Titania and Torre Mahou; all standing over 100 metres in height.

Interestingly, the most famous building in AZCA is not a skyscraper; rather, it is Bernabeu Stadium where the Real Madrid football team plays. The stadium holds up to 80,000 spectators and is very loud and raucous, especially when beloved fan favourite, Ronaldo, or another cherished team star scores a GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!

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CBTA

The CBTA district (Four Towers Business Area) is home to the four tallest buildings in Madrid that are all over 200 metres in height: Torre Espacio, Torre de Cristal, Torre PwC and Torre Cepsa. The four towers are located next to each other along the Paseo de la Castellana, one of the widest and longest avenues in Madrid.

Gran Via

The shopping and nightlife destination of choice in Madrid is the Gran Via, which is also known for its elaborately designed building facades that showcase the best of early 20th century architectural styles. The Metropolis Building is one of the area’s most famous and most beautiful with its tall dome and numerous decorative statues.

Green Space is Thriving

Of all European cities, Madrid has the most number of trees and green space per resident meaning that most people are within a 15-minute walk from a designated park area.

Along with the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid and Casa de Campo, a large urban parkland on the city’s western edge, Buen Retiro Park is a popular destination that offers scenic pathways and an artificial lake with row boat rentals.  On the weekends, an array of street performers descend on the park to entertain the crowds.

Buen Retiro Park was originally built as a royal retreat and there are thus some very regal statues located throughout it such as the Monument to Alfonso XII that provides an impressive jaw-dropping backdrop while rowing on the lake.

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Progress and History is Working Well Together

Madrid’s city planners deserve full credit for not sacrificing its myriad historical landmarks in the name of progress. Whether it’s the ultra-modern inclined Gate of Europe twin towers, or the elegant and statuesque Puerta de Alcala and Cybele Palace and Fountain, the city really does offer the best of both worlds resulting in a metropolis that oozes a definite hip and urban vibe AND pays homage to its glorious past. Vamos Madrid!

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